Part 7 out of 29
to every one according to his work.
24:30. I passed by the field of the slothful man, and by the vineyard
of the foolish man:
24:31. And behold it was all filled with nettles, and thorns had
covered the face thereof, and the stone wall was broken down.
24:32. Which when I had seen, I laid it up in my heart, and by the
example I received instruction.
24:33. Thou wilt sleep a little, said I, thou wilt slumber a little,
thou wilt fold thy hands a little to rest.
24:34. And poverty shall come to thee as a runner, and beggary as an
Proverbs Chapter 25
25:1. These are also parables of Solomon, which the men of Ezechias,
king of Juda, copied out.
25:2. It is the glory of God to conceal the word, and the glory of
kings to search out the speech.
25:3. The heaven above and the earth beneath, and the heart of kings is
25:4. Take away the rust from silver, and there shall come forth a most
25:5. Take away wickedness from the face of the king, and his throne
shall be established with justice.
25:6. Appear not glorious before the king, and stand not in the place
of great men.
25:7. For it is better that it should be said to thee: Come up hither;
than that thou shouldst be humbled before the prince.
25:8. The things which thy eyes have seen, utter not hastily in a
quarrel: lest afterward thou mayst not be able to make amends, when
thou hast dishonoured thy friend.
25:9. Treat thy cause with thy friend, and discover not the secret to a
25:10. Lest he insult over thee, when he hath heard it, and cease not
to upbraid thee. Grace and friendship deliver a man: keep these for
thyself, lest thou fall under reproach.
25:11. To speak a word in due time, is like apples of gold on beds of
25:12. As an earring of gold and a bright pearl, so is he that
reproveth the wise, and the obedient ear.
25:13. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful
messenger to him that sent him, for he refresheth his soul.
25:14. As clouds, and wind, when no rain followeth, so is the man that
boasteth, and doth not fulfil his promises.
25:15. By patience a prince shall be appeased, and a soft tongue shall
25:16. Thou hast found honey, eat what is sufficient for thee, lest
being glutted therewith thou vomit it up.
25:17. Withdraw thy foot from the house of thy neighbour, lest having
his fill he hate thee.
25:18. A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour, is like
a dart and a sword and a sharp arrow.
25:19. To trust in an unfaithful man in the time of trouble, is like a
rotten tooth, and weary foot,
25:20. And one that looseth his garment in cold weather. As vinegar
upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a very evil heart. As a moth
doth by a garment, and a worm by the wood: so the sadness of a man
consumeth the heart.
25:21. If thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat: if he thirst, give him
water to drink:
25:22. For thou shalt heap hot coals upon his head, and the Lord will
25:23. The north wind driveth away rain, as doth a sad countenance a
25:24. It is better to sit in a corner of the housetop: than with a
brawling woman, and in a common house.
25:25. As cold water to a thirsty soul, so are good tidings from a far
25:26. A just man falling down before the wicked, is as a fountain
troubled with the foot and a corrupted spring.
25:27. As it is not good for a man to eat much honey, so he that is a
searcher of majesty shall be overwhelmed by glory.
Majesty. . .Viz., of God. For to search into that incomprehensible
Majesty, and to pretend to sound the depths of the wisdom of God, is
exposing our weak understanding to be blinded with an excess of light
and glory, which it cannot comprehend.
25:28. As a city that lieth open and is not compassed with walls, so is
a man that cannot refrain his own spirit in speaking.
Proverbs Chapter 26
26:1. As snow in summer, and rain in harvest, so glory is not seemly
for a fool.
26:2. As a bird flying to other places, and a sparrow going here or
there: so a curse uttered without cause shall come upon a man.
As a bird, etc. . .The meaning is, that a curse uttered without cause
shall do no harm to the person that is cursed, but will return upon him
that curseth, as whithersoever a bird flies, it returns to its own
26:3. A whip for a horse, and a snaffle for an ass, and a rod for the
back of fools.
26:4. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be made like
Answer not a fool, etc. . .Viz., so as to imitate him but only so as to
reprove his folly.
26:5. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he imagine himself to
26:6. He that sendeth words by a foolish messenger, is lame of feet and
26:7. As a lame man hath fair legs in vain: so a parable is unseemly in
the mouth of fools.
26:8. As he that casteth a stone into the heap of Mercury: so is he
that giveth honour to a fool.
26:9. As if a thorn should grow in the hand of a drunkard: so is a
parable in the mouth of fools.
26:10. Judgment determineth causes: and he that putteth a fool to
silence, appeaseth anger.
26:11. As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is the fool that
repeateth his folly.
26:12. Hast thou seen a man wise in his own conceit? there shall be
more hope of a fool than of him.
26:13. The slothful man saith: There is a lion in the way, and a
lioness in the roads.
26:14. As the door turneth upon its hinges, so doth the slothful upon
26:15. The slothful hideth his hand under his armpit, and it grieveth
him to turn it to his mouth.
26:16. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit, than seven men that
26:17. As he that taketh a dog by the ears, so is he that passeth by in
anger, and meddleth with another man's quarrel.
26:18. As he is guilty that shooteth arrows, and lances unto death.
26:19. So is the man that hurteth his friend deceitfully: and when he
is taken, saith: I did it in jest.
26:20. When the wood faileth, the fire shall go out: and when the
talebearer is taken away, contentions shall cease.
26:21. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire, so an angry man
stirreth up strife.
26:22. The words of a talebearer are as it were simple, but they reach
to the innermost parts of the belly.
26:23. Swelling lips joined with a corrupt heart, are like an earthern
vessel adorned with silver dross.
26:24. An enemy is known by his lips, when in his heart he entertaineth
26:25. When he shall speak low, trust him not: because there are seven
mischiefs in his heart.
26:26. He that covereth hatred deceitfully, his malice shall be laid
open in the public assembly.
26:27. He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that rolleth a
stone, it shall return to him.
26:28. A deceitful tongue loveth not truth: and a slippery mouth
Proverbs Chapter 27
27:1. Boast not for to morrow, for thou knowest not what the day to
come may bring forth.
27:2. Let another praise thee, and not thy own mouth: a stranger, and
not thy own lips.
27:3. A stone is heavy, and sand weighty: but the anger of a fool is
heavier than them both.
27:4. Anger hath no mercy: nor fury, when it breaketh forth: and who
can bear the violence of one provoked?
27:5. Open rebuke is better than hidden love.
27:6. Better are the wounds of a friend, than the deceitful kisses of
27:7. A soul that is full shall tread upon the honeycomb: and a soul
that is hungry shall take even bitter for sweet.
27:8. As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that leaveth
27:9. Ointment and perfumes rejoice the heart: and the good counsels of
a friend are sweet to the soul.
27:10. Thy own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not: and go not
into thy brother's house in the day of thy affliction. Better is a
neighbour that is near than a brother afar off.
27:11. Study wisdom, my son, and make my heart joyful, that thou mayst
give an answer to him that reproacheth.
27:12. The prudent man seeing evil hideth himself: little ones passing
on have suffered losses.
27:13. Take away his garment that hath been surety for a stranger: and
take from him a pledge for strangers.
27:14. He that blesseth his neighbour with a loud voice, rising in the
night, shall be like to him that curseth.
27:15. Roofs dropping through in a cold day, and a contentious woman
27:16. He that retaineth her, is as he that would hold the wind, and
shall call the oil of his right hand.
27:17. Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his
27:18. He that keepeth the fig tree, shall eat the fruit thereof: and
he that is the keeper of his master, shall be glorified.
27:19. As the faces of them that look therein, shine in the water, so
the hearts of men are laid open to the wise.
27:20. Hell and destruction are never filled: so the eyes of men are
27:21. As silver is tried in the fining-pot, and gold in the furnace:
so a man is tried by the mouth of him that praiseth. The heart of the
wicked seeketh after evils, but the righteous heart seeketh after
27:22. Though thou shouldst bray a fool in the mortar, as when a pestle
striketh upon sodden barley, his folly would not be taken from him.
27:23. Be diligent to know the countenance of thy cattle, and consider
thy own flocks:
27:24. For thou shalt not always have power: but a crown shall be given
to generation and generation.
27:25. The meadows are open, and the green herbs have appeared, and the
hay is gathered out of the mountains.
27:26. Lambs are for thy clothing: and kids for the price of the field.
27:27. Let the milk of the goats be enough for thy food, and for the
necessities of thy house, and for maintenance for thy handmaids.
Proverbs Chapter 28
28:1. The wicked man fleeth, when no man pursueth: but the just, bold
as a lion, shall be without dread.
28:2. For the sins of the land many are the princes thereof: and for
the wisdom of a man, and the knowledge of those things that are said,
the life of the prince shall be prolonged.
28:3. A poor man that oppresseth the poor, is like a violent shower,
which bringeth a famine.
28:4. They that forsake the law, praise the wicked man: they that keep
it, are incensed against him.
28:5. Evil men think not on judgment: but they that seek after the
Lord, take notice of all things.
28:6. Better is the poor man walking in his simplicity, than the rich
in crooked ways.
28:7. He that keepeth the law, is a wise son: but he that feedeth
gluttons, shameth his father.
28:8. He that heapeth together riches by usury and loan, gathereth them
for him that will be bountiful to the poor.
28:9. He that turneth away his ears from hearing the law, his prayer
shall be an abomination.
28:10. He that deceiveth the just in a wicked way, shall fall in his
own destruction: and the upright shall possess his goods.
28:11. The rich man seemeth to himself wise: but the poor man that is
prudent shall search him out.
28:12. In the joy of the just there is great glory: when the wicked
reign, men are ruined.
28:13. He that hideth his sins, shall not prosper: but he that shall
confess, and forsake them, shall obtain mercy.
28:14. Blessed is the man that is always fearful: but he that is
hardened in mind shall fall into evil.
28:15. As a roaring lion, and a hungry bear, so is a wicked prince over
the poor people.
28:16. A prince void of prudence shall oppress many by calumny: but he
that hateth covetousness, shall prolong his days.
28:17. A man that doth violence to the blood of a person, if he flee
even to the pit, no man will stay him.
28:18. He that walketh uprightly, shall be saved: he that is perverse
in his ways, shall fall at once.
28:19. He that tilleth his ground, shall be filled with bread: but he
that followeth idleness, shall be filled with poverty.
28:20. A faithful man shall be much praised: but he that maketh haste
to be rich, shall not be innocent.
28:21. He that hath respect to a person in judgment, doth not well:
such a man even for a morsel of bread forsaketh the truth.
28:22. A man that maketh haste to be rich, and envieth others, is
ignorant that poverty shall come upon him.
28:23. He that rebuketh a man, shall afterward find favour with him,
more than he that by a flattering tongue deceiveth him.
28:24. He that stealeth any thing from his father, or from his mother:
and saith, This is no sin, is the partner of a murderer.
28:26. He that boasteth and puffeth up himself, stirreth up quarrels:
but he that trusteth in the Lord, shall be healed.
28:26. He that trusteth in his own heart, is a fool: but he that
walketh wisely, he shall be saved.
28:27. He that giveth to the poor shall not want: he that despiseth his
entreaty, shall suffer indigence.
28:28. When the wicked rise up, men shall hide themselves: when they
perish, the just shall be multiplied.
Proverbs Chapter 29
29:1. The man that with a stiff neck despiseth him that reproveth him,
shall suddenly be destroyed: and health shall not follow him.
29:2. When just men increase, the people shall rejoice: when the wicked
shall bear rule, the people shall mourn.
29:3. A man that loveth wisdom, rejoiceth his father: but he that
maintaineth harlots, shall squander away his substance.
29:4. A just king setteth up the land: a covetous man shall destroy it.
29:5. A man that speaketh to his friend with flattering and dissembling
words, spreadeth a net for his feet.
29:6. A snare shall entangle the wicked man when he sinneth: and the
just shall praise and rejoice.
29:7. The just taketh notice of the cause of the poor: the wicked is
void of knowledge.
29:8. Corrupt men bring a city to ruin: but wise men turn away wrath.
29:9. If a wise man contend with a fool, whether he be angry, or laugh,
he shall find no rest.
29:10. Bloodthirsty men hate the upright: but just men seek his soul.
29:11. A fool uttereth all his mind: a wise man deferreth, and keepeth
it till afterwards.
29:12. A prince that gladly heareth lying words, hath all his servants
29:13. The poor man and the creditor have met one another: the Lord is
the enlightener of them both.
29:14. The king that judgeth the poor in truth, his throne shall be
established for ever.
29:15. The rod and reproof give wisdom: but the child that is left to
his own will, bringeth his mother to shame.
29:16. When the wicked are multiplied, crimes shall be multiplied: but
the just shall see their downfall.
29:17. Instruct thy son and he shall refresh thee, and shall give
delight to thy soul.
29:18. When prophecy shall fail, the people shall be scattered abroad:
but he that keepeth the law, is blessed.
29:19. A slave will not be corrected by words: because he understandeth
what thou sayest, and will not answer.
29:20. Hast thou seen a man hasty to speak? folly is rather to be
looked for, than his amendment.
29:21. He that nourisheth his servant delicately from his childhood,
afterwards shall find him stubborn.
29:22. A passionate man provoketh quarrels: and he that is easily
stirred up to wrath, shall be more prone to sin.
29:23. Humiliation followeth the proud: and glory shall uphold the
humble of spirit.
29:24. He that is partaker with a thief, hateth his own soul: he
heareth one putting him to his oath, and discovereth not.
29:25. He that feareth man shall quickly fall: he that trusteth in the
Lord, shall be set on high.
29:26. Many seek the face of the prince: but the judgment of every one
cometh forth from the Lord.
29:27. The just abhor a wicked man: and the wicked loathe them that are
in the right way. The son that keepeth the word, shall be free from
Proverbs Chapter 30
The wise man thinketh humbly of himself. His prayer and sentiments upon
certain virtues and vices.
30:1. The words of Gatherer the son of Vomiter. The vision which the
man spoke, with whom God is, and who being strengthened by God, abiding
with him, said:
Gatherer, etc. . .Or, as it is in the Latin, Congregans the son of
Vomens. The Latin interpreter has given us in this place the
signification of the Hebrew names, instead of the names themselves,
which are in the Hebrew, Agur the son of Jakeh. But whether this Agur
be the same person as Solomon, as many think, or a different person,
whose doctrine was adopted by Solomon, and inserted among his parables
or proverbs, is uncertain.
30:2. I am the most foolish of men, and the wisdom of men is not with
30:3. I have not learned wisdom, and have not known the science of
30:4. Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? who hath held
the wind in his hands? who hath bound up the waters together as in a
garment? who hath raised up all the borders of the earth? what is his
name, and what is the name of his son, if thou knowest?
30:5. Every word of God is fire tried: he is a buckler to them that
hope in him.
Is fire tried. . .That is, most pure, like gold purified by fire.
30:6. Add not any thing to his words, lest thou be reproved and found a
30:7. Two things I have asked of thee, deny them not to me before I
30:8. Remove far from me vanity, and lying words. Give me neither
beggary, nor riches: give me only the necessaries of life:
30:9. Lest perhaps being filled, I should be tempted to deny, and say:
Who is the Lord? or being compelled by poverty, I should steal, and
forswear the name of my God.
30:10. Accuse not a servant to his master, lest he curse thee, and thou
30:11. There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not
bless their mother.
30:12. A generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet are not
washed from their filthiness.
30:13. A generation, whose eyes are lofty, and their eyelids lifted up
30:14. A generation that for teeth hath swords, and grindeth with their
jaw teeth, to devour the needy from off the earth, and the poor from
30:15. The horseleech hath two daughters that say: Bring, bring. There
are three things that never are satisfied, and the fourth never saith:
It is enough.
The horseleech. . .Concupiscence, which hath two daughters that are
never satisfied, viz., lust and avarice.
30:16. Hell and the mouth of the womb, and the earth which is not
satisfied with water: and the fire never saith: It is enough.
30:17. The eye that mocketh at his father, and that despiseth the
labour of his mother in bearing him, let the ravens of the brooks pick
it out, and the young eagles eat it.
30:18. Three things are hard to me, and the fourth I am utterly
30:19. The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a
rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man
30:20. Such also is the way of an adulterous woman, who eateth and
wipeth her mouth, and saith: I have done no evil.
30:21. By three things the earth is disturbed, and the fourth it cannot
30:22. By a slave when he reigneth: by a fool when be is filled with
30:23. By an odious woman when she is married: and by a bondwoman when
she is heir to her mistress.
30:24. There are four very little things of the earth, and they are
wiser than the wise.
30:25. The ants, a feeble people, which provide themselves food in the
30:26. The rabbit, a weak people, which maketh its bed in the rock:
30:27. The locust hath no king, yet they all go out by their bands:
30:28. The stellio supporteth itself on hands, and dwelleth in kings'
The stellio. . .A kind of house lizard marked with spots like stars,
from whence it has its name.
30:19. There are three things, which go well, and the fourth that
30:30. A lion, the strongest of beasts, who hath no fear of any thing
30:31. A cock girded about the loins: and a ram: and a king, whom none
30:32. There is that hath appeared a fool after he was lifted up on
high: for if he had understood, he would have laid his hand upon his
30:33. And he that strongly squeezeth the paps to bring out milk,
straineth out butter: and he that violently bloweth his nose, bringeth
out blood: and he that provoketh wrath, bringeth forth strife.
Proverbs Chapter 31
An exhortation to chastity, temperance, and works of mercy; with the
praise of a wise woman.
31:1. The words of king Lamuel. The vision wherewith his mother
Lamuel. . .This name signifies God with him, and is supposed to have
been one of the names of Solomon.
31:2. What, O my beloved, what, O the beloved of my womb, what, O the
beloved of my vows?
31:3. Give not thy substance to women, and thy riches to destroy kings.
31:4. Give not to kings, O Lamuel, give not wine to kings: because
there is no secret where drunkenness reigneth:
31:5. And lest they drink and forget judgments, and pervert the cause
of the children of the poor.
31:6. Give strong drink to them that are sad; and wine to them that are
grieved in mind:
31:7. Let them drink, and forget their want, and remember their sorrow
31:8. Open thy mouth for the dumb, and for the causes of all the
children that pass.
31:9. Open thy mouth, decree that which is just, and do justice to the
needy and poor.
31:10. Who shall find a valiant woman? far, and from the uttermost
coasts is the price of her.
31:11. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no
need of spoils.
31:12. She will render him good, and not evil all the days of her life.
31:13. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel
of her hands.
31:14. She is like the merchant's ship, she bringeth her bread from
31:15. And she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her
household, and victuals to her maidens.
31:16. She hath considered a field, and bought it: with the fruit of
her hands she hath planted a vineyard.
31:17. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened
31:18. She hath tasted, and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp
shall not be put out in the night.
31:19. She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have
taken hold of the spindle.
31:20. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her
hands to the poor.
31:21. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all
her domestics are clothed with double garments.
31:22. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry: fine linen, and
purple, is her covering.
31:23. Her husband is honourable in the gates, when he sitteth among
the senators of the land.
31:24. She made fine linen, and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the
The Chanaanite. . .The merchant, for Chanaanite, in Hebrew, signifies a
31:25. Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the
31:26. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is
on her tongue.
31:27. She hath looked well on the paths of her house, and hath not
eaten her bread idle.
31:28. Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and
he praised her.
31:29. Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast
surpassed them all.
31:30. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth
the Lord, she shall be praised.
31:31. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her
in the gates.
This Book is called Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher, (in Hebrew,
Coheleth,) because in it, Solomon, as an excellent preacher, setteth
forth the vanity of the things of this world: to withdraw the hearts
and affections of men from such empty toys.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 1
The vanity of all temporal things.
1:1. The words of Ecclesiastes, the son of David, king of Jerusalem.
1:2. Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all
1:3. What hath a man more of all his labour, that he taketh under the
1:4. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but
the earth standeth for ever.
1:5. The sun riseth, and goeth down, and returneth to his place: and
there rising again,
1:6. Maketh his round by the south, and turneth again to the north: the
spirit goeth forward surveying all places round about, and returneth to
1:7. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea doth not overflow:
unto the place from whence the rivers come, they return, to flow again.
1:8. All things are hard: man cannot explain them by word. The eye is
not filled with seeing, neither is the ear filled with hearing.
1:9. What is it that hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is
it that hath been done? the same that shall be done.
1:10. Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say:
Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that
were before us.
1:11. There is no remembrance of former things: nor indeed of those
things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance with
them that shall be in the latter end.
1:12. I Ecclesiastes was king over Israel in Jerusalem,
1:13. And I proposed in my mind to seek and search out wisely
concerning all things that are done under the sun. This painful
occupation hath God given to the children of men, to be exercised
1:14. I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold
all is vanity, and vexation of spirit.
1:15. The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is
1:16. I have spoken in my heart, saying: Behold I am become great, and
have gone beyond all in wisdom, that were before me in Jerusalem: and
my mind hath contemplated many things wisely, and I have learned.
1:17. And I have given my heart to know prudence, and learning, and
errors, and folly: and I have perceived that in these also there was
labour, and vexation of spirit,
1:18. Because in much wisdom there is much indignation: and he that
addeth knowledge, addeth also labour.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 2
The vanity of pleasures, riches, and worldly labours.
2:1. I said in my heart: I will go, and abound with delights, and enjoy
good things. And I saw that this also was vanity.
2:2. Laughter I counted error: and to mirth I said: Why art thou vainly
2:3. I thought in my heart, to withdraw my flesh from wine, that I
might turn my mind to wisdom, and might avoid folly, till I might see
what was profitable for the children of men: and what they ought to do
under the sun, all the days of their life.
2:4. I made me great works, I built me houses, and planted vineyards,
2:5. I made gardens, and orchards, and set them with trees of all
2:6. And I made me ponds of water, to water therewith the wood of the
2:7. I got me menservants, and maidservants, and had a great family:
and herds of oxen, and great flocks of sheep, above all that were
before me in Jerusalem:
2:8. I heaped together for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of
kings, and provinces: I made me singing men, and singing women, and the
delights of the sons of men, cups and vessels to serve to pour out
2:9. And I surpassed in riches all that were before me in Jerusalem: my
wisdom also remained with me.
2:10. And whatsoever my eyes desired, I refused them not: and I
withheld not my heart from enjoying every pleasure, and delighting
itself in the things which I had prepared: and esteemed this my
portion, to make use of my own labour.
2:11. And when I turned myself to all the works which my hands had
wrought, and to the labours wherein I had laboured in vain, I saw in
all things vanity, and vexation of mind, and that nothing was lasting
under the sun.
2:12. I passed further to behold wisdom, and errors and folly, (What is
man, said I that he can follow the King his maker?)
2:13. And I saw that wisdom excelled folly, as much as light differeth
2:14. The eyes of a wise man are in his head: the fool walketh in
darkness: and I learned that they were to die both alike.
2:15. And I said in my heart: If the death of the fool and mine shall
be one, what doth it avail me, that I have applied myself more to the
study of wisdom? And speaking with my own mind, I perceived that this
also was vanity.
2:16. For there shall be no remembrance of the wise no more than of the
fool forever, and the times to come shall cover all things together
with oblivion: the learned dieth in like manner as the unlearned.
2:17. And therefore I was weary of my life, when I saw that all things
under the sun are evil, and all vanity and vexation of spirit.
2:18. Again I hated all my application wherewith I had earnestly
laboured under the sun, being like to have an heir after me,
2:19. Whom I know not whether he will be a wise man or a fool, and he
shall have rule over all my labours with which I have laboured and been
solicitous: and is there anything so vain?
2:20. Wherefore I left off and my heart renounced labouring anymore
under the sun.
2:21. For when a man laboureth in wisdom, and knowledge, and
carefulness, he leaveth what he hath gotten to an idle man: so this
also is vanity, and a great evil.
2:22. For what profit shall a man have of all his labour, and vexation
of spirit, with which he hath been tormented under the sun?
2:23. All his days are full of sorrows and miseries, even in the night
he doth not rest in mind: and is not this vanity?
2:24. Is it not better to eat and drink, and to shew his soul good
things of his labours? and this is from the hand of God.
2:25. Who shall so feast and abound with delights as I?
2:26. God hath given to a man that is good in his sight, wisdom, and
knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he hath given vexation, and
superfluous care, to heap up and to gather together, and to give it to
him that hath pleased God: but this also is vanity, and a fruitless
solicitude of the mind.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3
All human things are liable to perpetual changes. We are to rest on
God's providence, and cast away fruitless cares.
3:1. All things have their season, and in their times all things pass
3:2. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time
to pluck up that which is planted.
3:3. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time
3:4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time
3:5. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace,
and a time to be far from embraces.
3:6. A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to
3:7. A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a
time to speak.
3:8. A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of
3:9. What hath man more of his labour?
3:10. I have seen the trouble, which God hath given the sons of men to
be exercised in it.
3:11. He hath made all things good in their time, and hath delivered
the world to their consideration, so that man cannot find out the work
which God hath made from the beginning to the end.
3:12. And I have known that there was no better thing than to rejoice,
and to do well in this life.
3:13. For every man that eateth and drinketh, and seeth good of his
labour, this is the gift of God.
3:14. I have learned that all the works which God hath made, continue
for ever: we cannot add any thing, nor take away from those things
which God hath made that he may be feared.
3:15. That which hath been made, the same continueth: the things that
shall be, have already been: and God restoreth that which is past.
3:16. I saw under the sun in the place of judgment wickedness, and in
the place of justice iniquity.
3:17. And I said in my heart: God shall judge both the just and the
wicked, and then shall be the time of every thing.
3:18. I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that God would
prove them, and shew them to be like beasts.
3:19. Therefore the death of man, and of beasts is one, and the
condition of them both is equal: as man dieth, so they also die: all
things breathe alike, and man hath nothing more than beast: all things
are subject to vanity.
Man hath nothing more, etc. . .Viz., as to the life of the body.
3:20. And all things go to one place: of earth they were made, and into
earth they return together.
3:21. Who knoweth if the spirit of the children of Adam ascend upward,
and if the spirit of the beasts descend downward?
Who knoweth, etc. . .Viz., experimentally: since no one in this life can
see a spirit. But as to the spirit of the beasts, which is merely
animal, and become extinct by the death of the beast, who can tell the
manner it acts so as to give life and motion, and by death to descend
downward, that is, to be no more?
3:22. And I have found that nothing is better than for a man to rejoice
in his work, and that this is his portion. For who shall bring him to
know the things that shall be after him?
Ecclesiastes Chapter 4
Other instances of human miseries.
4:1. I turned myself to other things, and I saw the oppressions that
are done under the sun, and the tears of the innocent, and they had no
comforter; and they were not able to resist their violence, being
destitute of help from any.
4:2. And I praised the dead rather than the living:
4:3. And I judged him happier than them both, that is not yet born, nor
hath seen the evils that are done under the sun.
4:4. Again I considered all the labours of men, and I remarked that
their industries are exposed to the envy of their neighbour: so in this
also there is vanity, and fruitless care.
4:5. The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh,
4:6. Better is a handful with rest, than both hands full with labour,
and vexation of mind.
4:7. Considering I found also another vanity under the sun:
4:8. There is but one, and he hath not a second, no child, no brother,
and yet he ceaseth not to labour, neither are his eyes satisfied with
riches, neither doth he reflect, saying: For whom do I labour, and
defraud my soul of good things? in this also is vanity, and a grievous
4:9. It is better therefore that two should be together, than one: for
they have the advantage of their society:
4:10. If one fall he shall be supported by the other: woe to him that
is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up.
4:11. And if two lie together, they shall warm one another: how shall
one alone be warmed?
4:12. And if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him: a
threefold cord is not easily broken.
4:13. Better is a child that is poor and wise, than a king that is old
and foolish, who knoweth not to foresee for hereafter.
4:14. Because out of prison and chains sometimes a man cometh forth to
a kingdom: and another born king is consumed with poverty.
4:15. I saw all men living, that walk under the sun with the second
young man, who shall rise up in his place.
4:16. The number of the people, of all that were before him is
infinite: and they that shall come afterwards, shall not rejoice in
him: but this also is vanity, and vexation of spirit.
4:17. Keep thy foot, when thou goest into the house of God, and draw
nigh to hear. For much better is obedience, than the victims of fools,
who know not what evil they do.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 5
Caution in words. Vows are to be paid. Riches are often pernicious:
the moderate use of them is the gift of God.
5:1. Speak not any thing rashly, and let not thy heart be hasty to
utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:
therefore let thy words be few.
5:2. Dreams follow many cares: and in many words shall be found folly.
5:3. If thou hast vowed any thing to God, defer not to pay it: for an
unfaithful and foolish promise displeaseth him: but whatsoever thou
hast vowed, pay it.
5:4. And it is much better not to vow, than after a vow not to perform
the things promised.
5:5. Give not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin: and say not before
the angel: There is no providence: lest God be angry at thy words, and
destroy all the works of thy hands.
5:6. Where there are many dreams, there are many vanities, and words
without number: but do thou fear God.
5:7. If thou shalt see the oppressions of the poor, and violent
judgments, and justice perverted in the province, wonder not at this
matter: for he that is high hath another higher, and there are others
still higher than these:
5:8. Moreover there is the king that reigneth over all the land subject
5:9. A covetous man shall not be satisfied with money: and he that
loveth riches shall reap no fruit from them: so this also is vanity.
5:10. Where there are great riches, there are also many to eat them.
And what doth it profit the owner, but that he seeth the riches with
5:11. Sleep is sweet to a labouring man, whether he eat little or much:
but the fulness of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
5:12. There is also another grievous evil, which I have seen under the
sun: riches kept to the hurt of the owner.
5:13. For they are lost with very great affliction: he hath begotten a
son, who shall be in extremity of want.
5:14. As he came forth naked from his mother's womb, so shall he
return, and shall take nothing away with him of his labour.
5:15. A most deplorable evil: as he came, so shall he return. What then
doth it profit him that he hath laboured for the wind?
5:16. All the days of his life he eateth in darkness, and in many
cares, and in misery, and sorrow.
5:17. This therefore hath seemed good to me, that a man should eat and
drink, and enjoy the fruit of his labour, wherewith he hath laboured
under the sun, all the days of his life, which God hath given him: and
this is his portion.
5:18. And every man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and
hath given him power to eat thereof, and to enjoy his portion, and to
rejoice of his labour: this is the gift of God.
5:19. For he shall not much remember the days of his life, because God
entertaineth his heart with delight.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 6
The misery of the covetous man.
6:1. There is also another evil, which I have seen under the sun, and
that frequent among men:
6:2. A man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and honour,
and his soul wanteth nothing of all that he desireth: yet God doth not
give him power to eat thereof, but a stranger shall eat it up. This is
vanity and a great misery.
6:3. If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, and attain
to a great age, and his soul make no use of the goods of his substance,
and he be without burial: of this man I pronounce, that the untimely
born is better than he.
6:4. For he came in vain, and goeth to darkness, and his name shall be
6:5. He hath not seen the sun, nor known the distance of good and evil:
6:6. Although he lived two thousand years, and hath not enjoyed good
things: do not all make haste to one place?
6:7. All the labour of man is for his mouth, but his soul shall not be
6:8. What hath the wise man more than the fool? and what the poor man,
but to go thither, where there is life?
6:9. Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that
which thou canst not know. But this also is vanity, and presumption of
6:10. He that shall be, his name is already called: and it is known,
that he is a man, and cannot contend in judgment with him that is
stronger than himself.
6:11. There are many words that have much vanity in disputing.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 7
Prescriptions against worldly vanities: mortification, patience, and
7:1. What needeth a man to seek things that are above him, whereas he
knoweth not what is profitable for him in his life, in all the days of
his pilgrimage, and the time that passeth like a shadow? Or who can
tell him what shall be after him under the sun?
7:2. A good name is better than precious ointments: and the day of
death than the day of one's birth.
7:3. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of
feasting: for in that we are put in mind of the end of all, and the
living thinketh what is to come.
7:4. Anger is better than laughter: because by the sadness of the
countenance the mind of the offender is corrected.
Anger. . .That is, correction, or just wrath and zeal against evil.
7:5. The heart of the wise is where there is mourning, and the heart of
fools where there is mirth.
7:6. It is better to be rebuked by a wise man, than to be deceived by
the flattery of fools.
7:7. For as the crackling of thorns burning under a pot, so is the
laughter of a fool: now this also is vanity.
7:8. Oppression troubleth the wise, and shall destroy the strength of
7:9. Better is the end of a speech than the beginning. Better is the
patient man than the presumptuous.
7:10. Be not quickly angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of a fool.
7:11. Say not: What thinkest thou is the cause that former times were
better than they are now? for this manner of question is foolish.
7:12. Wisdom with riches is more profitable, and bringeth more
advantage to them that see the sun.
7:13. For as wisdom is a defence, so money is a defence: but learning
and wisdom excel in this, that they give life to him that possesseth
7:14. Consider the works of God, that no man can correct whom he hath
7:15. In the good day enjoy good things, and beware beforehand of the
evil day: for God hath made both the one and the other, that man may
not find against him any just complaint.
7:16. These things also I saw in the days of my vanity: A just man
perisheth in his justice, and a wicked man liveth a long time in his
7:17. Be not over just: and be not more wise than is necessary, lest
thou become stupid.
Over just. . .Viz., By an excessive rigour in censuring the ways of God
in bearing with the wicked.
7:18. Be not overmuch wicked: and be not foolish, lest thou die before
Be not overmuch wicked. . .That is, lest by the greatness of your sin
you leave no room for mercy.
7:19. It is good that thou shouldst hold up the just, yea and from him
withdraw not thy hand: for he that feareth God, neglecteth nothing.
7:20. Wisdom hath strengthened the wise more than ten princes of the
7:21. For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth
7:22. But do not apply thy heart to all words that are spoken: lest
perhaps thou hear thy servant reviling thee.
7:23. For thy conscience knoweth that thou also hast often spoken evil
7:24. I have tried all things in wisdom. I have said: I will be wise:
and it departed farther from me,
7:25. Much more than it was: it is a great depth, who shall find it
7:26. I have surveyed all things with my mind, to know, and consider,
and seek out wisdom and reason: and to know the wickedness of the fool,
and the error of the imprudent:
7:27. And I have found a woman more bitter than death, who is the
hunter's snare, and her heart is a net, and her hands are bands. He
that pleaseth God shall escape from her: but he that is a sinner, shall
be caught by her.
7:28. Lo this have I found, said Ecclesiastes, weighing one thing after
another, that I might find out the account,
7:29. Which yet my soul seeketh, and I have not found it. One man among
a thousand I have found, a woman among them all I have not found.
7:30. Only this I have found, that God made man right, and he hath
entangled himself with an infinity of questions. Who is as the wise
man? and who hath known the resolution of the word?
Of the word. . .That is, of this obscure and difficult matter.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 8
True wisdom is to observe God's commandments. The ways of God are
8:1. The wisdom of a man shineth in his countenance, and the most
mighty will change his face.
8:2. I observe the mouth of the king, and the commandments of the oath
8:3. Be not hasty to depart from his face, and do not continue in an
evil work: for he will do all that pleaseth him:
8:4. And his word is full of power: neither can any man say to him: Why
dost thou so?
8:5. He that keepeth the commandment, shall find no evil. The heart of
a wiser man understandeth time and answer.
8:6. There is a time and opportunity for every business, and great
affliction for man:
8:7. Because he is ignorant of things past, and things to come he
cannot know by any messenger.
8:8. It is not in man's power to stop the spirit, neither hath he power
in the day of death, neither is he suffered to rest when war is at
hand, neither shall wickedness save the wicked.
8:9. All these things I have considered, and applied my heart to all
the works that are done under the sun. Sometimes one man ruleth over
another to his own hurt.
8:10. I saw the wicked buried: who also when they were yet living were
in the holy place, and were praised in the city as men of just works:
but this also is vanity.
8:11. For because sentence is not speedily pronounced against the evil,
the children of men commit evils without any fear.
8:12. But though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and by patience be
borne withal, I know from thence that it shall be well with them that
fear God, who dread his face.
8:13. But let it not be well with the wicked, neither let his days be
prolonged, but as a shadow let them pass away that fear not the face of
8:14. There is also another vanity, which is done upon the earth. There
are just men to whom evils happen, as though they had done the works of
the wicked: and there are wicked men, who are as secure as though they
had the deeds of the just: but this also I judge most vain.
8:15. Therefore I commended mirth, because there was no good for a man
under the sun, but to eat, and drink, and be merry, and that he should
take nothing else with him of his labour in the days of his life, which
God hath given him under the sun.
No good for a man, etc. . .Some commentators think the wise man here
speaks in the person of the libertine: representing the objections of
these men against divine providence, and the inferences they draw from
thence, which he takes care afterwards to refute. But it may also be
said, that his meaning is to commend the moderate use of the goods of
this world, preferably to the cares and solicitudes of worldlings,
their attachment to vanity and curiosity, and presumptuously diving
into the unsearchable ways of divine providence.
8:16. And I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to understand the
distraction that is upon earth: for there are some that day and night
take no sleep with their eyes.
8:17. And I understood that man can find no reason of all those works
of God that are done under the sun: and the more he shall labour to
seek, so much the less shall he find: yea, though the wise man shall
say, that he knoweth it, he shall not be able to find it.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 9
Man knows not certainty that he is in God's grace. After death no more
work or merit.
9:1. All these things have I considered in my heart, that I might
carefully understand them: there are just men and wise men, and their
works are in the hand of God: and yet man knoweth not whether he be
worthy of love, or hatred:
9:2. But all things are kept uncertain for the time to come, because
all things equally happen to the just and to the wicked, to the good
and to the evil, to the clean and to the unclean, to him that offereth
victims, and to him that despiseth sacrifices. As the good is, so also
is the sinner: as the perjured, so he also that sweareth truth.
9:3. This is a very great evil among all things that are done under the
sun, that the same things happen to all men: whereby also the hearts of
the children of men are filled with evil, and with contempt while they
live, and afterwards they shall be brought down to hell.
9:4. There is no man that liveth always, or that hopeth for this: a
living dog is better than a dead lion.
9:5. For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing
more, neither have they a reward any more: for the memory of them is
Know nothing more. . .Viz., as to the transactions of this world, in
which they have now no part, unless it be revealed to them; neither
have they any knowledge or power now of doing any thing to secure their
eternal state, (if they have not taken care of it in their lifetime:)
nor can they now procure themselves any good, as the living always may
do, by the grace of God.
9:6. Their love also, and their hatred, and their envy are all
perished, neither have they any part in this world, and in the work
that is done under the sun.
9:7. Go then, and eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with
gladness: because thy works please God.
9:8. At all times let thy garments be white, and let not oil depart
from thy head.
9:9. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest, all the days of thy
unsteady life, which are given to thee under the sun, all the time of
thy vanity: for this is thy portion in life, and in thy labour
wherewith thou labourest under the sun.
9:10. Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither
work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge shall be in hell, whither
thou art hastening.
9:11. I turned me to another thing, and I saw that under the sun, the
race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to
the wise, nor riches to the learned, nor favour to the skilful: but
time and chance in all.
9:12. Man knoweth not his own end: but as fishes are taken with the
hook, and as birds are caught with the snare, so men are taken in the
evil time, when it shall suddenly come upon them.
9:13. This wisdom also I have seen under the sun, and it seemed to me
to be very great:
9:14. A little city, and few men in it: there came against it a great
king, and invested it, and built bulwarks round about it, and the siege
9:15. Now there was found in it a man poor and wise, and he delivered
the city by his wisdom, and no man afterward remembered that poor man.
9:16. And I said that wisdom is better than strength: how then is the
wisdom of the poor man slighted, and his words not heard?
9:17. The words of the wise are heard in silence, more than the cry of
a prince among fools.
9:18. Better is wisdom, than weapons of war: and he that shall offend
in one, shall lose many good things.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 10
Observations on wisdom and folly, ambition and detraction.
10:1. Dying flies spoil the sweetness of the ointment. Wisdom and glory
is more precious than a small and shortlived folly.
10:2. The heart of a wise man is in his right hand, and the heart of a
fool is in his left hand.
10:3. Yea, and the fool when he walketh in the way, whereas he himself
is a fool, esteemeth all men fools.
10:4. If the spirit of him that hath power, ascend upon thee, leave not
thy place: because care will make the greatest sins to cease.
10:5. There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were by an
error proceeding from the face of the prince:
10:6. A fool set in high dignity, and the rich sitting beneath.
10:7. I have seen servants upon horses: and princes walking on the
ground as servants.
10:8. He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that breaketh a
hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
10:9. He that removeth stones, shall be hurt by them: and he that
cutteth trees, shall be wounded by them.
10:10. If the iron be blunt, and be not as before, but be made blunt,
with much labour it shall be sharpened: and after industry shall follow
10:11. If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that
10:12. The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace: but the lips of
a fool shall throw him down headlong.
10:13. The beginning of his words is folly, and the end of his talk is
a mischievous error.
10:14. A fool multiplieth words. A man cannot tell what hath been
before him: and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
10:15. The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not how to go
to the city.
10:16. Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and when the
princes eat in the morning.
10:17. Blessed is the land, whose king is noble, and whose princes eat
in due season for refreshment, and not for riotousness.
10:18. By slothfulness a building shall be brought down, and through
the weakness of hands, the house shall drop through.
10:19. For laughter they make bread, and wine that the living may
feast: and all things obey money.
10:20. Detract not the king, no not in thy thought; and speak not evil
of the rich man in thy private chamber: because even the birds of the
air will carry thy voice, and he that hath wings will tell what thou
Ecclesiastes Chapter 11
Exhortation to works of mercy, while we have time, to diligence in
good, and to the remembrance of death and judgment.
11:1. Cast thy bread upon the running waters: for after a long time
thou shalt find it again.
11:2. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight: for thou knowest not
what evil shall be upon the earth.
11:3. If the clouds be full, they will pour out rain upon the earth. If
the tree fall to the south, or to the north, in what place soever it
shall fall, there shall it be.
If the tree fall, etc. . .The state of the soul is unchangeable when
once she comes to heaven or hell: and a soul that departs this life in
the state of grace, shall never fall from grace: as on the other side,
a soul that dies out of the state of grace, shall never come to it. But
this does not exclude a place of temporal punishments for such souls as
die in the state of grace: yet not so as to be entirely pure: and
therefore they shall be saved, indeed, yet so as by fire. 1 Cor. 3.13,
11:4. He that observeth the wind, shall not sow: and he that
considereth the clouds, shall never reap.
11:5. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the
bones are joined together in the womb of her that is with child: so
thou knowest not the works of God, who is the maker of all.
11:6. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening let not thy hand
cease: for thou knowest not which may rather spring up, this or that:
and if both together, it shall be the better.
11:7. The light is sweet, and it is delightful for the eyes to see the
11:8. If a man live many years, and have rejoiced in them all, he must
remember the darksome time, and the many days: which when they shall
come, the things past shall be accused of vanity.
11:9. Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart
be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways
of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes: and know that for all these
God will bring thee into judgment.
11:10. Remove anger from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh.
For youth and pleasure are vain.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 12
The Creator is to be remembered in the days of our youth: all worldly
things are vain: we should fear God and keep his commandments.
12:1. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the time of
affliction come, and the years draw nigh of which thou shalt say: They
please me not:
12:2. Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be
darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:
Before the sun, etc. . .That is, before old age: the effects of which
upon all the senses and faculties are described in the following
verses, under a variety of figures.
12:3. When the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men
shall stagger, and the grinders shall be idle in a small number, and
they that look through the holes shall be darkened:
12:4. And they shall shut the doors in the street, when the grinder's
voice shall be low, and they shall rise up at the voice of the bird,
and all the daughters of music shall grow deaf.
12:5. And they shall fear high things, and they shall be afraid in the
way, the almond tree shall flourish, the locust shall be made fat, and
the caper tree shall be destroyed: because man shall go into the house
of his eternity, and the mourners shall go round about in the street.
12:6. Before the silver cord be broken, and the golden fillet shrink
back, and the pitcher be crushed at the fountain, and the wheel be
broken upon the cistern,
12:7. And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the
spirit return to God, who gave it.
12:8. Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all things are vanity.
12:9. And whereas Ecclesiastes was very wise, he taught the people, and
declared the things that he had done: and seeking out, he set forth
12:10. He sought profitable words, and wrote words most right, and full
12:11. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened
in, which by the counsel of masters are given from one shepherd.
12:12. More than these, my son, require not. Of making many books there
is no end: and much study is an affliction of the flesh.
12:13. Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear
God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man:
All man. . .The whole business and duty of man.
12:14. And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for
every error, whether it be good or evil.
Error. . .Or, hidden and secret thing.
SOLOMON'S CANTICLE OF CANTICLES
This Book is called the Canticle of Canticles, that is to say, the most
excellent of all canticles: because it is full of high mysteries,
relating to the happy union of Christ and his spouse: which is here
begun by love; and is to be eternal in heaven. The spouse of Christ is
the church: more especially as to the happiest part of it, viz.,
perfect souls, every one of which is his beloved, but, above all
others, the immaculate and ever blessed virgin mother.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 1
The spouse aspires to an union with Christ, their mutual love for one
1:1. Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth: for thy breasts are
better than wine,
Let him kiss me. . .The church, the spouse of Christ, prays that he may
love and have peace with her, which the spouse prefers to every thing
delicious: and therefore expresses (ver. 2) that young maidens, that is
the souls of the faithful, have loved thee.
1:2. Smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured
out: therefore young maidens have loved thee.
1:3. Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments. The
king hath brought me into his storerooms: we will be glad and rejoice
in thee, remembering thy breasts more than wine: the rightous love
Draw me. . .That is, with thy grace: otherwise I should not be able to
come to thee. This metaphor shews that we cannot of ourselves come to
Christ our Lord, unless he draws us by his grace, which is laid up in
his storerooms: that is, in the mysteries of Faith, which God in his
goodness and love for mankind hath revealed, first by his servant Moses
in the Old Law in figure only, and afterwards in reality by his only
begotten Son Jesus Christ.
1:4. I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the
tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
I am black but beautiful. . .That is, the church of Christ founded in
humility appearing outwardly afflicted, and as it were black and
contemptible; but inwardly, that is, in its doctrine and morality, fair
1:5. Do not consider me that I am brown, because the sun hath altered
my colour: the sons of my mother have fought against me, they have made
me the keeper in the vineyards: my vineyard I have not kept.
1:6. Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where
thou liest in the midday, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of
1:7. If thou know not thyself, O fairest among women, go forth, and
follow after the steps of the flocks, and feed thy kids beside the
tents of the shepherds.
If thou know not thyself, etc. . .Christ encourages his spouse to follow
and watch her flock: and though she know not entirely the power at hand
to assist her, he tells her, ver. 8, my company of horsemen, that is,
his angels, are always watching and protecting her. And in the
following verses he reminds her of the virtues and gifts with which he
has endowed her.
1:8. To my company of horsemen, in Pharao's chariots, have I likened
thee, O my love.
1:9. Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's, thy neck as jewels.
1:10. We will make thee chains of gold, inlaid with silver.
1:11. While the king was at his repose, my spikenard sent forth the
1:12. A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, he shall abide between my
1:13. A cluster of cypress my love is to me, in the vineyards of
1:14. Behold thou are fair, O my love, behold thou are fair, thy eyes
are as those of doves.
1:15. Behold thou art fair, my beloved, and comely. Our bed is
1:16. The beams of our houses are of cedar, our rafters of cypress
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 2
Christ caresses his spouse: he invites her to him.
2:1. I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys.
I am the flower of the field. . .Christ professes himself the flower of
mankind, yea, the Lord of all creatures: and, ver. 2, declares the
excellence of his spouse, the true church above all other societies,
which are to be considered as thorns.
2:2. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
2:3. As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved
among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his
fruit was sweet to my palate.
2:4. He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in
2:5. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I
languish with love.
2:6. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace
2:7. I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the
harts of the field, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to
awake, till she please.
2:8. The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the
mountains, skipping over the hills.
The voice of my beloved: that is, the preaching of the gospel
surmounting difficulties figuratively here expressed by mountains and
2:9. My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth
behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the
2:10. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my
dove, my beautiful one, and come.
2:11. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.
2:12. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is
come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:
2:13. The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower
yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:
2:14. My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the
wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice
is sweet, and thy face comely.
2:15. Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our
vineyard hath flourished.
Catch us the little foxes. . .Christ commands his pastors to catch false
teachers, by holding forth their fallacy and erroneous doctrine, which
like foxes would bite and destroy the vines.
2:16. My beloved to me, and I to him who feedeth among the lilies,
2:17. Till the day break, and the shadows retire. Return: be like, my
beloved, to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 3
The spouse seeks Christ. The glory of his humanity.
3:1. In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him,
and found him not.
In my bed by night, etc. . .The Gentiles as in the dark, and seeking in
heathen delusion what they could not find, the true God, until Christ
revealed his doctrine to them by his watchmen, (ver. 3,) that is, by
the apostles, and teachers by whom they were converted to the true
faith; and holding that faith firmly, the spouse (the Catholic Church)
declares, ver. 4, That she will not let him go, till she bring him into
her mother's house, etc., that is, till at last, the Jews also shall
3:2. I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the
broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I
found him not.
3:3. The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom
my soul loveth?
3:4. When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul
loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my
mother's house, and into the chamber of her that bore me.
3:5. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the harts
of the fields, that you stir not up, nor awake my beloved, till she
3:6. Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of
aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders
of the perfumer?
3:7. Behold threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel,
surrounded the bed of Solomon?
3:8. All holding swords, and most expert in war: every man's sword upon
his thigh, because of fears in the night.
3:9. King Solomon hath made him a litter of the wood of Libanus:
3:10. The pillars thereof he made of silver, the seat of gold, the
going up of purple: the midst he covered with charity for the daughters
3:11. Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon in the
diadem, wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of the joy of his
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 4
Christ sets forth the graces of his spouse: and declares his love for
4:1. How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou! thy eyes
are doves' eyes, besides what is hid within. Thy hair is as flocks of
goats, which come up from mount Galaad.
How beautiful art thou. . .Christ again praises the beauties of his
church, which through the whole of this chapter are exemplified by a
variety of metaphors, setting forth her purity, her simplicity, and her
4:2. Thy teeth as flocks of sheep, that are shorn, which come up from
the washing, all with twins, and there is none barren among them.
4:3. Thy lips are as a scarlet lace: and thy speech sweet. Thy cheeks
are as a piece of a pomegranate, besides that which lieth hid within.
4:4. Thy neck, is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks:
a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.
4:5. Thy two breasts like two young roes that are twins, which feed
among the lilies.
Thy two breasts, etc. . .Mystically to be understood: the love of God
and the love of our neighbour, which are so united as twins which feed
among the lilies: that is, the love of God and our neighbour, feeds on
the divine mysteries and the holy sacraments, left by Christ to his
spouse to feed and nourish her children.
4:6. Till the day break, and the shadows retire, I will go to the
mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
4:7. Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.
4:8. Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come: thou shalt
be crowned from the top of Amana, from the top of Sanir and Hermon,
from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards.
4:9. Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast
wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck.
4:10. How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! thy breasts
are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments
above all aromatical spices.
4:11. Thy lips, my spouse, are as a dropping honeycomb, honey and milk
are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments, as the smell of
4:12. My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a
fountain sealed up.
My sister, etc., a garden enclosed. . .Figuratively the church is
enclosed, containing only the faithful. A fountain sealed up. . .That
none can drink of its waters, that is, the graces and spiritual
benefits of the holy sacraments, but those who are within its walls.
4:13. Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the
orchard. Cypress with spikenard.
4:14. Spikenard and saffron, sweet cane and cinnamon, with all the
trees of Libanus, myrrh and aloes with all the chief perfumes.
4:15. The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run
with a strong stream from Libanus.
4:16. Arise, O north wind, and come, O south wind, blow through my
garden, and let the aromatical spices thereof flow.
Canticle of Canticles Chapter 5
Christ calls his spouse: she languishes with love: and describes him by
5:1. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat the fruit of his
apple trees. I am come into my garden, O my sister, my spouse, I have
gathered my myrrh, with my aromatical spices: I have eaten the
honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O
friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved.
Let my beloved come into his garden, etc. . .Garden, mystically the
church of Christ, abounding with fruit, that is, the good works of the
5:2. I sleep, and my heart watcheth: the voice of my beloved knocking:
Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is
full of dew, and my locks of the drops of the nights.
5:3. I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on? I have washed my
feet, how shall I defile them?
5:4. My beloved put his hand through the key hole, and my bowels were
moved at his touch.
My beloved put his hand through the key hole, etc. . .The spouse of
Christ, his church, at times as it were penned up by its persecutors,
and in fears, expecting the divine assistance, here signified by his
hand: and ver. 6, but he had turned aside and was gone, that is, Christ
permitting a further trial of suffering: and again, ver. 7, the
keepers, etc., signifying the violent and cruel persecutors of the
church taking her veil, despoiling the church of its places of worship
and ornaments for the divine service.
5:5. I arose up to open to my beloved: my hands dropped with myrrh, and
my fingers were full of the choicest myrrh.
5:6. I opened the bolt of my door to my beloved: but he had turned
aside, and was gone. My soul melted when he spoke: I sought him, and
found him not: I called, and he did not answer me.
5:7. The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and
wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
5:8. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved,
that you tell him that I languish with love.
5:9. What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most
beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the
beloved, that thou hast so adjured us?
5:10. My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands.
My beloved, etc. . .In this and the following verses, the church
mystically describes Christ to those who know him not, that is, to
infidels in order to convert them to the true faith.
5:11. His head is as the finest gold: his locks as branches of palm
trees, black as a raven.
5:12. His eyes as doves upon brooks of waters, which are washed with
milk, and sit beside the plentiful streams.
5:13. His cheeks are as beds of aromatical spices set by the perfumers.
His lips are as lilies dropping choice myrrh.
5:14. His hands are turned and as of gold, full of hyacinths. His belly
as of ivory, set with sapphires.
5:15. His legs as pillars of marble, that are set upon bases of gold.
His form as of Libanus, excellent as the cedars.
5:16. His throat most sweet, and he is all lovely: such is my beloved,
and he is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.
5:17. Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women?
whither is thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek him with thee?